© 2020 KASU
webBanner_6-1440x90 - gradient overlay (need black logo).png
Your Connection to Music, News, Arts and Views for Over 60 Years
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Famed New York Mets Pitcher Tom Seaver Dies At 75

NOEL KING, HOST:

When Tom Seaver was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1992, he set a record. He was on 98.8% of all the ballots. No other baseball player had ever been such a popular pick.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Seaver was one of the legends of the Miracle Mets team that won the World Series in 1969. He died yesterday at the age of 75. When he was inducted to the Hall of Fame, he had this reflection.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

TOM SEAVER: For me, it's the - it is the last beautiful flower in the perfect bouquet, because the 20 years that I had as a professional athlete playing all came together for me in this induction in the Hall of Fame.

KING: Seaver debuted in the major leagues in 1967. He was rookie of the year. He was a 12-time all-star. And he got extremely close to pitching a perfect game for the Mets.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED SPORTS COMMENTATOR: He's pitched eight full innings of scoreless, hitless baseball. The first Cub up in the ninth. Randy Hundley tries a sprawling bunt. But Seaver throws him out. Two outs to go to a perfect game. Jim Qualls, a rookie outfielder, is up.

(SOUNDBITE OF BASEBALL BAT HITTING)

UNIDENTIFIED SPORTS COMMENTATOR: A clean hit to left center field. And there goes the perfect game.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

SEAVER: There were 60,000 fans in the stadium at Shea Stadium. I see my wife after the game, she's in tears. You lost your perfect game. I said, I lost my perfect game? I pitched a one-hitter. I didn't walk anybody. We won 4-nothing - or whatever the score was. I struck out 10 against the Chicago Cubs. It was a pretty good game.

MARTIN: Pretty good for sure. And Seaver would go on to play for the Cincinnati Reds where he got his no-hitter in 1978.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

MARTIN BRENNAMAN: Tom Seaver now a strike away from his first major league no-hitter. Hendrick puts the head of the bat on the plate. Werner hangs a sign. Seaver with a pause, retract and a pitch. He bounces to first base. Driessen has it. He goes to the bag. And Seaver's got it.

(CHEERING)

BRENNAMAN: Tom Seaver has pitched his first major league no-hitter. Seaver is being mobbed at first base. And the 38,216 at Riverfront Stadium are standing.

KING: Seaver ended his career with 311 wins and over 3,600 strikeouts. In '98, the Mets retired his number, 41, during a pregame ceremony. He was there.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

SEAVER: I came to a decision a long time ago that if my number was ever retired, there would be one way that I wanted to say thank you to everybody - everybody that's here on the field, everybody that's in the stands. If you'll just allow me one moment...

MARTIN: At that point, Seaver ran to that mound where he built his baseball career and took a bow.

(SOUNDBITE OF BILL MACKAY AND RYLEY WALKER'S "THE GRAND OLD TROUT") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.